Samantha Memi Recommends Books for Almost Grown-Up Daughters

As part of a series of recommendations from authors, we’re hearing from flash writer Samantha Memi, writer who lives in London.  (We interviewed Samantha here.)

Introduction: Every woman is a daughter; even me. The books I have chosen are for daughters becoming adults and thinking of leaving home. They are not intrinsically educational but I believe they will help young ladies find their way in life. Here’s my list of books that should be on everyone’s list of Christmas gifts for darling daughters.

To Have Not by Frances Lefkowitz
Fran’s childhood brought to you in vivid swashbuckling technicolor. 
Good for daughters who have everything, to show what it's like for those who have nothing.  

Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War by Deb Olin Unferth
Deb’s sojourn into Latin American living history. 
For the girl who wants to travel in search of revolutions.

Careers advice from an expert. A selection of excellent job opportunities; from being dinner in a posh restaurant, to working on the moon as a prostitute. 
An excellent guide for the young woman as yet undecided which profession to follow.


UFO in Her Eyes by Xiaolu Guo  
Insight into China’s growing pains which says so much about our individual and society’s perceptions and needs. 
For the girl who looks at the stars and sees spaceships. (also a wonderful film)

Animal Crackers by Hannah Tinti.

Fantastical stories from the zoo and beyond. Wonderful inspiration for the teenager who has abandoned her dream of working with animals. 
This book is proof, if ever it was needed, that being a vet isn’t all it's cracked up to be.

Everyone But You: Stories by Sandra Novack

Wistful stories of life and living together. 
For the girl who believes love and romance are not dead.

My Forbidden Face by Latifa.

In Afghanistan, an ordinary teenage girl, in jeans and tee shirt, hanging out with her friends, is suddenly forbidden by the Taliban to leave her house unless she covers herself with a sack. 
Ideal for the daughter who’s enraged by injustice.

A Robber in the House by Jessica Treat

Jessica’s first book and one of my perennial favourites. 
For girls coming to the realisation that what you see is not always what you get.

A Girl's Guide to Modern European Philosophy by Charlotte Greig.

Can philosophy show you how to live? 
For the daughter thinking life at university will be drunken nights and debauched love affairs.

Two Caravans (Strawberry Fields) by Marina Lewycka
A young female immigrant in Britain; her struggle to make friends, find work and fit into society. 
For the idealistic daughter wanting equality for all.

Two extra books. One from the past and one from the future. A classic work for the traditional daughter who likes her literature to have a touch of nostalgia. Plus a work which everyone should be waiting for.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson
An English gem. A prim governess in a world of nightclubs, cocktails and casual sex. Good for the daughter who believes one day she will meet her Prince Charming. (avoid the Hollywood movie)

Train Shots by Vanessa Blakeslee. A belated Christmas present for the daughter who's on a gap year, traveling. To be published in March 2014, a collection of delectable goodies .  

You can find Samantha online here:

Twitter: @SamanthaMemi

Find her books:

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